Gary Bettman; Bill Daly

Formal CBA talks will resume today (Updated)


Following the NHLPA’s counteroffer to the NHL’s latest proposal, the league’s staff met late into the night and are still engaged in internal discussions, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger and TSN/ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The expectation is that the NHL and union will meet at some point today to resume the negotiations, but there’s no firm timeline.

Update: The two sides will engage in informal conference calls and smaller group sessions this afternoon. Formal negotiations won’t start until 5:00 p.m. ET at the earliest, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie and Dreger.

The NHL’s offer included several key concessions and the union’s response was “comprehensive,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a deal is imminent. Dreger believes that the two sides are still apart on a number of main issues and he doesn’t think we’ll see an agreement made today.

Similarly, Sportsnet’s Daren Millard quoted an unnamed league source who said “we still have a ways to go.”

As things currently stand, it’s possible that we’ll get a 52-game season if an agreement is reached by Thursday. If that doesn’t happen, then we could end up with a 48-game schedule that starts on Jan. 19.

If the union and league fail to reach an agreement by those deadlines, then we might see the NHL cancel what’s left of the 2012-13 campaign in the coming weeks.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.